Well, well. Linda, my old friend. Malcolms Little Helper,
though not, Im afraid, for much longer. I expect you knew this moment was
coming. How long is it now? So long I should maybe present you with a bloody
clock or something. Nearly fifteen years, I make it. OMG. Still, as the
Frenchman says at breakfast, un oeuf is un oeuf, eh? I suppose all the
do-gooders would be appalled at the idea of doing this by e-mail, but at least
we can set a tone, cant we, not let things get so morbidly serious? And,
for me, theres more dignity in giving us the chance to say what we have
to say in print without public embarrassments and slanging matches. People
meet, people work together, people move on. Way of the world.
Youll want reasons, I dont doubt, clues about where
it is youve failed or not done the job. And thats difficult to pin
down. Its an old line, I know, and maybe more suitable for lovers
not that we were ever going to be that, my Helens the only gal for me,
which is why I married her but the faults probably more mine than
yours. You see, most businessmen I meet up with are just that men
and, rightly or wrongly, they see their P.A.s as sort of badges, if you see
what I mean. There are female bosses and reps, of course, and good luck to that
Im no sexist, sweetheart, you know that well enough and
there are male P.A.s, and occasionally theyre even straight. But mostly,
theyre women, and their employers need them to be well
smart in the female way, if you know what I mean. If theyre young or at
least look it, it suggests theyre also on the ball, in charge of things,
able to make an impression. Not that youre not efficient enough, Linda,
Im not saying that; even now, things still go like clockwork and I love
the way you factor in recreation. Busy men do need their recreations, and of
course Helen knows that, sophisticated lady that she is; whats the point
of earning all this money if you cant let your hair down when the
days done? All work and no play makes Jack, and Malcolm, a dull bastard.
There I go, swearing again. As you know, Im a bluff,
simple guy at heart, a bit rough and ready, and I suppose sometimes youve
thought to yourself anyway, its about time I gave this laddo the
push and found someone with a bit more culture, a bit more polish. And
maybe youd be right. But, because I havent really got the public
school manners, the posh accent, the bloody quotes from Shakespeare (once
more into the breach, I remember that one, because there are battles,
arent there?) I have to do it other ways, and one way is a really top
notch looking P.A., not someone who looks like shes just come from the
school run and hasnt had time to put her face on properly. Call it my
vanity, maybe, the need for people to be as vain as I am.
And, the other thing, the need for people to be, what shall we
say, flexible? Not law-breaking, lets be clear on that one, because even
you sometimes try to put words into my mouth. But perhaps just recognising that
some rules are more bendy than others, you know what I mean? Its a big
tough world out there and theyre not all fighting Queensberry rules,
thats for sure. If you see the boot heading for your groin, you get out
of the way rapido and then get your dig in at him before he has time for
another go. Another horrid male metaphor, I know, but if you live in the jungle
and try playing nice, you know what happens? You get eaten, thats what
happens, right down to false teeth and booties.
And maybe youve earned the right to get out of it, after
all these years. Im filling up here. Thanks for everything, have a nice
life, and enjoy your family. Family matters, believe me.
Best of luck,
Very interesting, Malcolm, and done with your usual verve and
forthrightness. I know your instinct is to boldly go, and youve certainly
boldly gone with this one. You may very well be right. You usually are; no-one
gets to where you are without a fair dose of being right along the way. Things
change the moving finger writs and, having writ, moves on.
Like you, Im no Shakespearian, but I have my moments.
But as your current P.A., which I remain for a months
notice, as Im sure your knowledge of the legally binding requirements of
my contract of employment will remind you, I have a duty to maintain the
efficiency which you have been kind enough to compliment. Our usual procedure
when you are considering a decision is for me to explain the ramifications and
consequences of said decision, beginning with the peripheral issues and
progressing to the main points, the meat in the meal, as you so graphically
Firstly, we have to refer to what you endearingly term your
recreation. I confess now to something of a lapse in my general conscientious
standards; I do have a lamentable habit of leaving mobile phones and recorders
hanging about here and there. In fact, I have had the misfortune to become
involved with a veritable network of similarly careless individuals in my
profession. Bearing in mind that a minutes demonstration is worth an
hours explanation, some interesting footage of your recreation in New
York can be found here, in Brussels
here , and in Paris (oo la la
The Tokyo material
had especial interest for me; I didnt realise they trained Geisha girls
to do that.
Moscow has created
particular problems; one of the girls here was an agent of whatever they
started calling it after they stopped calling it the KGB, and the spooks were
so miffed they did pass some of it on into government circles, so I
wouldnt get across any ministers any time soon if I was you. Helen, I
think, would probably find it all fascinating; mind you, quite a decent file of
footage is available of what she gets up to while youre away. Im no
However, the meat in this particular meal is probably mostly
about two issues in particular. One, payments made illegally to various
offshore accounts, including some monies from the Company pension fund;
paperwork relating to payments here
and statements and account details here.
Two, e-mail and phone communications (silly boy) to do with
fairly blatant cases of insider trading; written stuff here, sound and some vision here. The case first referred to would
probably be enough to put you inside for a couple of years, but Im sure
youll see that as useful life experience, somewhere where youve yet
to boldly go, and no doubt spiced with lusty prisoners who will introduce you
to some new and exciting recreational worlds.
To summarise all that, then, in terms which your bluff, simple
guyhood can take on board, my departure from your service will need to be
accompanied by terms which reflect your innate generosity and the length of my
dedicated service. Otherwise, you are, to précis as succinctly as
Linda Stansfield, P.A.
God - take a joke, cant you, girl? Lighten up a little!
Ill come clean big bet from one of my corporate colleagues,
didnt think Id dare go there. Well, I sort of did, didnt I?
But how could I lose you, lovely Linda, especially now I know you watch over me
so carefully. We have lots of things to talk about, and we will, but in the
meantime, you just keep doing what youre doing, stay cool very
cool, Linda, please and we will just keep right on with our happy and
Whatever. Youre booked in first class to Frankfurt,
Heathrow, 9.40 tomorrow. Klaus Melke will meet you there and handle the trip.
Im off to Paris with my lovely husband for a few days family
quality time, as you suggest, and theres going to be more of it in
If you and Klaus go recreationing to your usual place, be aware
that theyve got hidden cams everywhere. They are rank amateurs and
youre like as not to finish up on XTube. Always listen to Lindy and
youll be O.K.